September 2011

A few items for your consideration

09.28.2011

I greatly appreciate that so many people tune in here to read what I have to write. I try very hard never to waste that privilege by clogging up your inbox or RSS feeds. So I thought I would share a few things with you in one batch email, and then be done with it […]

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What Does “Lean” Mean to You? [Guest Post]

09.26.2011

Guest Post: Keith Poirier has over 17 years industry experience with a focus on lean/business process improvement.  He currently manages an EHS Team for a global design and manufacturing company, and also instructs an Operations Management MBA course. What is lean?  What does it mean to you?  Does it mean the same thing to everyone? I’ve […]

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Lean Tools: How the English Make Tea [Guest Post]

09.23.2011

Guest Post: James Lawther is Head of Operational Excellence for a FTSE 100 company. He blogs on the topic of service improvement, and he gets upset by poor customer service I am English.  If there is one thing the English love (and are particularly good at), it is the art and science of making and […]

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Going to the Gemba

09.20.2011

My latest column for Industry Week, Lessons from the Road, titled Going to the Gemba has been posted. Here is an excerpt: Going to the gemba has become popular for the simple reason that it is powerfully effective. But there is more to it than getting up from your desk, as even this simple explanation attempts […]

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“I messed up” – the words of a leader

09.19.2011

Netflix has been and will be written about extensively. I won’t write much but just want to highlight how Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings began his recent customer communication: “I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.” Notice he didn’t say “We messed up.” Nope – it was “I”. There is so much talk […]

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Call firefighting and band-aids what they are – but do them in a structured way

09.19.2011

Sometimes, firefighting is the right answer. Once the fire is burning, whether figuratively or literally, you must put it out. There’s nothing wrong with this. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a reactive, firefighting organization in a structured way. What would you structure in this reactive mode? First, you would get a little definition […]

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The role of the surrogate communicator

09.14.2011

Leaders are often unaware of the power of their communication. The words they say are interpreted down to the last word and tone. People extrapolate what is said to try and add additional meaning to the message. Some leaders are unaware of this, which can make their communications reckless. Other leaders are extremely aware of […]

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Upcoming Speeches: Lean for HR Summit and Northeast Shingo Prize Summit

09.12.2011

I have two speeches this fall that I wanted to share with you. I hope some of you would be attending one of these events. First, on October 6th in Springfield, Massachusetts, I’ll be the closing keynote address for the Northeast Shingo Prize Conference. This event, a part of the overall Shingo Prize, is from […]

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Ignoring a wrong behavior is not much different than endorsing it

09.07.2011

What do you do when you see one of your directs exhibiting the wrong behavior? Do you react? Do you pretend you didn’t notice? Do you call it out immediately? There is a common phrase, which I don’t is well understood, that states: “praise publicly, criticized privately.” While I do believe that actual criticism should […]

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